Following the United Nation’s Climate Summit, which took place in New York on 23rd September 2014, the Anglican Alliance hosted an online webinar discussion called, ‘Climate Change – Where’s the Justice?’
<p “text-align: center;”>The recording is available here.
At the centre of the webinar discussion was the question, “How can we be more effective in our demands for climate justice?”. Presenter Revd Fletcher Harper, director of GreenFaith, answered, “When politicians come together to make decisions, numbers matter. Politicians ignore us at their peril”.
The People’s Climate March, which took place in the weekend before the Climate Summit, was an example of this, gathering hundreds of thousands of people in cities around the world in a peaceful demonstration that world leaders could not ignore.
Bishop Paul Sarker, moderator of the Church of Bangladesh and an eco-bishop, added, “When we bring our voices together for climate justice, world leaders cannot be blind. They have to open their eyes and ears to the cries of the people.”
Paulo Ueti, Anglican Alliance Facilitator for Latin America and the Caribbean, urged participants to work together with social movements and other civil society organisations also calling for justice. He said, “There are 85 million people in the Anglican Communion! Imagine what we can do if we join with others and work in collaboration.”
Alongside the Our Voices campaign, which is gathering signatures from people of all faiths around the world to call for a strong climate treaty in Paris next year, the webinar also urged Anglicans to support churches in the Pacific in their call for climate justice.
Oceans of Justice is bringing voices of Pacific Islanders to the Australian government to ask them to put climate change on the agenda when the G20 meet in Brisbane in November this year.
The Anglican Church of Melanesia along with churches and agencies across the Pacific will be taking the Oceans of Justice petition to the G20 in November – and with all our voices calling together, they could be heard. You can sign in support at https://anglicanalliance.org/Advocacy/oceans-of-justice.
Groups met in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the UK to take part in the webinar together, and others logged on from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Kenya, and the USA to participate.
A church member logging on in Harare, Zimbabwe, said, “I learnt a lot from the webinar, especially from the bibilical reference to the Book of Genesis on God’s creation of the environment. I am going to look further in to the Five Marks of Mission and what our faith means in relation to caring for creation.”
Louise Douglas, Assistant Director of Inclusion at St Mary’s High School in Cheshunt, UK, brought a group of students together to take part in the webinar. She said, “Students were able to pick out some useful facts that gave us a good discussion at the end. It was great for them to hear from different country perspectives.”
Rev Shourov Pholia, Mission Programme Secretary of the Church of Bangladesh, brought together a group of 20 students and young adults to participate. Key questions from their group included, “How can churches play an effective role in influencing policy, taking action in the field, and monitoring the effectiveness of our work?”
The group there said they enjoyed the event and found it invaluable to be able to participate in events that have national as well as global value.
Bishop Paul thanked Anglican Alliance for arranging the event, connecting worldwide Anglicans and encouraging the Church to reflect on critical issues such as climate change.
In the picture: Participants at the Church of Bangladesh view the webinar with Bishop Paul Sarker as he makes his presentation.